A few weeks ago I showed you my apartment in Iizuka, where I worked as an English ALT with the JET Programme. But before I moved to Iizuka, I actually lived in another even smaller town in Japan called Chikuzen-machi and worked as an English teacher with a different company, called Interac.
Unlike the JET Programme, I didn’t get any break on my rent. But the upside was that I wasn’t relegated to old, outdated, teachers’ housing.
Instead, I got a sweet brand new place – a little house built on the same lot as a big house. It cost me about $550 per month. I didn’t take many pictures after I moved furniture in – but in contrast to my other apartment that was filled with years of former teachers’ cast offs, this one was empty when I got it!
The inside of this house was so much more modern than the apartment I moved to during my second year in Japan. This one had a concrete entryway, clean wood floors, and one room with fresh tatami floors! (Those are the woven mats that are used as flooring in traditional Japanese homes. They come in a standard size and are often used as a measurement unit. I.e., a “five tatami” or “six tatami” room.)
No weird squat toilet in this Japanese house. This one had all of the bells and whistles, including whistles – literally. The music is meant to mask any unseemly sounds that someone could overhear. Bring on the bells!
Oh, AND shower! AND hot water!
AND a crazy panel for warming the bath water and doing lots of other things I never figured out because my Japanese reading skills were very bad.
Icing on the Cake
Although Interac didn’t provide a Japanese house for me, they did send the most awesome, fun, supportive, guardian angel to help me find my place and get settled in. Along the way, she became my close friend and we still keep in touch, over a decade later.